Belgrade Visitor Guide 2021: Everything you need to know3 March, 2021by Bounce
Belgrade is a city that has been through the wringer. The capital of Serbia and the capital of the Yugoslavian state before that, Belgrade has seen conquerors come and go over the centuries. This complex history has seen the city fought over in 115 wars through the ages. As a result, while Belgrade is one of the oldest cities in Europe, little remains of its ancient past, and most of the buildings are no more than a couple of hundred years old.
Maybe it's a consequence of this turbulent past that the city feels so ready to embrace the future. The vibrant population makes the city a lively place to visit, and you won't be short of attractions in the Serbian capital. Drop off your unneeded bags at a Belgrade luggage storage service and see for yourself what this unique place has to offer.
A weekend in Belgrade
Belgrade has more to do than a single weekend can contain. However, a couple of days in the city gives you enough time to see some of the main attractions and sample the energetic atmosphere. Leave your bags behind at a Belgrade bag storage and enjoy the Serbian capital.
See where the city was born at Belgrade fortress. Once, the entire city fit inside this fortress. The history of the place goes back 2000 years, and visiting the ancient walls gives you a crash course in Serbian history.
See one of the world's largest Orthodox churches at St Sava. This green-domed beauty is an icon of the city, and you can see its impressive structure from almost anywhere in the city. The square outside the church is also a great place to hang out and people watch.
Bask in the opulence of Serbia's former monarchy at Stari Dvor and Novi Dvor. These are the old and new palaces built for two different royal families, dating back to the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, respectively. The New Palace is currently the home of the president of Serbia, and can be visited on guided tours.
As an ancient city, Belgrade is a fantastic place to explore on foot. Often, this is the best way to see the city and soak up the atmosphere. Be sure to leave your unneeded bags behind at the Belgrade luggage storage locker so you can travel more easily. The less you have to carry, the more fun you'll have.
Off the beaten path in Belgrade
Belgrade’s troubled 20th-century history means tourists have been slow to discover what the city has to offer. That's rapidly changing, though, as travelers from around the world start to see the potential of Serbia. Still, there are plenty of places where you can get away from the crowds and enjoy some of Belgrade's more offbeat attractions.
If you're looking to experience Belgrade's bohemian side, you can't miss Skardarlija. This car-free district has been the place where freethinkers have converged since the 1800s. A kind of Serbian echo of Paris' Montmartre, the area is home to great bars, restaurants, and vibrant nightlife.
Belgrade isn't generally thought of as a beach destination. But if you are looking to enjoy some summer weather, head to Ada Ciganlija. This island in the river offers both forest trails and sandy beaches, making it a great place to unwind in nature without leaving the city.
Celebrate the life of one of history's genuine mad scientists at the Nikola Tesla Museum. This twentieth-century genius was a pioneer in the development of electricity, and the Serbs are very proud of one of their most famous sons.
What to do alone in Belgrade
Traveling alone in Belgrade is a great way to immerse yourself in its culture. The friendly and fun-loving locals are very welcoming to visitors, and traveling by yourself allows you to really get to grips with the city. Leave your bags behind at a Belgrade luggage locker and head out on a solo adventure.
Explore the history of conflict at Belgrade Military Museum. Among the ancient walls of the fortress, this museum preserves relics of more modern warfare. Roman swords sit beside German tanks and NATO equipment from the 1990s conflict that led to the dissolution of Yugoslavia.
Time your visit just right, and you could see one of the most intense sporting events in the world at Rajko Mitic Stadium. When Red Star Belgrade play FK Partizan, the atmosphere is always electric. Be warned that this soccer match is not for the faint of heart. But if you’re willing to take a chance, it could be a truly unforgettable experience.
Get out on the water and enjoy fabulous nightlife on a splav, or barge. These boats are permanently moored on the two rivers that run through the city, and are used as floating restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. Each one has its own different atmosphere, and you'll be sure to make new friends as you party the night away.
The best souvenirs in Belgrade
Yugoslavia dissolved when its different national groups sought independence. There is little nostalgia for the former Yugoslavia in other Balkan countries such as Croatia and Montenegro, since the union was dominated by Serbia. But in Belgrade, you'll find plenty of fondness for the defunct socialist state. Visit House of Flowers, the burial site of Yugoslav ruler Joseph Tito, to pick up pins, flags, and other communist memorabilia. Just don't take them over the border into Croatia.
Another great souvenir from Belgrade is rakia, a local fruit brandy that is a crucial part of Serbian culture. The Rakia Bar Gift Shop is a place to shop for this unique spirit. Or you could head to Zeleni Venac for classic Serbian delicacies such as Ajvar, a delicious red pepper dip you’ll find in restaurants across the country.